first time was DUI, 2nd time is public drunkeness on a military base. What would the federal penalty be?
For a federal DUI / DWI case, the laws that apply depend on where the event occurred. Arrests that happen everywhere but on National Parks are governed using the laws of the state (or District) because of the federal Assimilative Crimes Act which adopts the state laws. For Virginia, the penalties will be described below.
However, if the event happened in a National Park, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR for short) controls. The CFR says DWI/DUI is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in federal prison and a fine of up to $5000. Probation can be for up to 5 years. There is always an intensive class associated with a conviction too.
When the case also involves a charge of refusal to submit to a breath or blood test, and it happened on National Park land, the offense is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of six months in federal prison, and a possible $5000 fine.
Now back to cases in Federal Court using the Virginia law. Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated (DWI) is found in the Code of Virginia at 18.2-266. Essentially, you should not drive (i) with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent; and/or (ii) while under the influence of alcohol; and/or (iii) while under the influence of any narcotic drug, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive safely.
If convicted of DWI, the law provides for one of the following sentences: First offense -Jail for up to twelve months and/or a fine of no more than $2500. If the blood alcohol concentration is between 0.15 and .20, you would have a minimum of 5 days in jail and if the blood alcohol concentration is 0.20 or more, 10 days in jail will be imposed. If you are convicted of a Second offense within less than five years after a first offense - it is punishable by a fine from $250 to $2500, and a mandatory minimum confinement in jail of 20 days. If the Second offense is committed within a period of five to ten years of a first offence - it is punishable by $250 to $2,500 and a mandatory minimum confinement in jail of ten days. If the second offense is committed within ten years of a first offense with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 to .20 - an additional, mandatory sentence of ten days in jail will be imposed. If the second offense is committed within ten years of a first offense with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .20 - an additional, mandatory sentence of twenty days in jail will be imposed. If your DWI is a third offense within a ten year period, it is a class 6 felony which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 months. If your DWI is a Fourth within 10 years the sentence will include a mandatory, minimum of one year in jail, which cannot be suspended.
Suspension and Restriction of Your License. For a first offense of DWI, you will also lose your license for 1 year but may receive some restricted driving privileges. For your second offense of DWI, you will lose your license for 3 years. This suspension cannot be waived or reduced by the court. However if you qualify and you are otherwise permitted by the court, you may receive a restricted license to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from medical appointments and to and from classes sponsored by the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
You definitely should have a lawyer who knows what to do in these cases.
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